In the context of cannabis cultivation, “Parts Per Million” (PPM) is a measurement used to quantify the concentration of nutrients present in the growing medium, such as soil or hydroponic solution. It provides valuable information for growers to ensure proper nutrient balance and avoid overfeeding or underfeeding their plants.
PPM is a way to express very small concentrations of substances in a solution. It refers to the number of parts of a particular substance found in one million parts of the solution. In cannabis cultivation, PPM is commonly used to measure the concentration of essential minerals and nutrients that cannabis plants need for healthy growth.
Measuring PPM is relatively simple and can be done using a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) meter. The TDS meter calculates the amount of dissolved solids, including nutrients, in the water or growing medium, providing a PPM reading.
Understanding the PPM of the nutrient solution and the runoff from the growing medium is crucial for successful cannabis cultivation. The ideal PPM levels vary depending on the stage of the plant’s growth:
Cloning: Cannabis plants typically enjoy nutrient levels between 500-600 PPM after the cloning stage.
Vegetation: During the vegetative stage, the recommended PPM range is around 800-900 PPM.
Flowering: As the plants transition into the flowering stage, the PPM should be increased to approximately 1000-1100 PPM.
Monitoring the PPM of the nutrient solution and runoff allows growers to make informed decisions about adjusting the amount of nutrient minerals added to the water. If the PPM reading of the runoff is significantly higher or lower than the nutrient solution, it indicates potential issues with nutrient uptake or nutrient imbalances.
For hydroponic growers, it is especially important to keep an eye on the PPM levels in the reservoir water since mineral depletion can occur as the water level drops. Adjusting the nutrient solution based on PPM readings helps prevent nutrient deficiencies or excesses, ensuring optimal plant health and growth.
Growers have various tools at their disposal to measure PPM, including TDS meters. Calibrating the TDS meter is essential to obtain accurate readings. By understanding and managing PPM levels, cannabis cultivators can optimize nutrient delivery, enhance plant growth, and avoid stress-related issues for healthier and more productive plants.